By Sarah Carter, RN, BSN, Certified Doula
As a labor and delivery nurse, I can't count the number of times I have heard a fellow nurse, physician, or midwife say, "I wish they had taken a childbirth education class". The majority of couples do not take a childbirth education class. Some of the reasons might be cost, time, or couples being unaware of the benefits of a class. However, for most people, the knowledge of what to expect from a birth experience usually leads to more confidence and comfort during the labor and birth.
There are many options for childbirth classes. The most common classes that people attend are the childbirth class offered at their birth location. Most hospitals offer childbirth education classes that give an overview of what labor and birth look like and what to expect from the hospital staff and environment. This is a good way to become more familiar and comfortable with the upcoming process of birth!
There are a few other excellent options to consider if couples want to attend a class outside of the hospital. I'll outline three options in this post: A group in-person class, a private in-person class, and an online self-paced class. The biggest benefit of an out of hospital childbirth class is that...it is not taught by the hospital.
The Growing Families & Holistic Heritage Childbirth Education Class
This is the most comprehensive class option that offers three in-person classes. The first two classes are taught by doula, Kristian Jordan, at Holistic Heritage Birth Services and the third class is taught by Jessica Bower who is a lactation consultant and doula at Growing Families Lactation & Doula. This class is excellent, especially for first-time parents or parents who are preparing for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) who are interested in getting as much information as possible to make the most informed decisions regarding their prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. The format of the class is as follows:
- Class One: Nutrition and exercise in pregnancy, communicating with your care team, and stages of labor
- Class Two: Comfort techniques and positions, medical interventions, cesarean birth, and developing birth preferences
- Class Three: Birth goals review, postpartum preparation, newborn care, and breastfeeding preparation
The classes are always on Mondays from 6:30-8:30pm. We use the teaching space of Village Family Chiropractic in Kernersville to host our class. The cost of this class is $200. For specific dates and to register, check out the education page on the Growing Families website.
The Growing Families Online Childbirth Education Class
Jessica Bower of Growing Families Lactation & Doula created an all online childbirth education class that is self-paced. She developed the course with the assistance of a midwife to include the most vital information to help you be prepared for birth and informed about your choices during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. This class is beneficial for first time couples but it also works well for parents who have other children and need a refresher to prepare for birth again. There is an optional VBAC bonus video if you have had a prior c-section. Total education time is 5 hours. The cost of the class is $50. You can register for this class on the Growing Families Lactation & Doula Website.
A Private Class with Sarah Carter
When neither of the above options work for your schedule, you have a unique situation, or you'd just prefer to have one-on-one instruction, the private class is the right class for you. In this class, I come to you in the comfort of your home for 3 hours. We discuss your specific situation and birth goals. I help equip your support person / people as well. I also give you access to an online class that I developed to do at your own pace. The cost of this class is $200. You can register for this class by texting me at 336-267-5879 to schedule a class. To learn more about me or the private class that I teach, check out the Natural Baby Doulas website.
I'm so glad you are looking into education options. If you are a first time parent, please take a childbirth education class - any class is better than no class at all! Find the one that works best for your schedule and your goals and aim to take the class sometime between 22-36 weeks.